Jamie Oliver is a name you would recognise whether you are a fan of his cooking or not. His empire consists of TV shows, countless cookbooks not to mention his ongoing health food campaign which has now reached to Australian shores. I am myself a fan of Oliver as I have shamelessly collected several of his cookbooks and watched many of his shows hoping to replicate a couple of his dishes. Recently his new restaurant has opened in Sydney. With his name branded, not to mention very decent prices, it is no wonder that massive queues of hungry diners line up everyday waiting to be seated for a little bit of Jamie Oliver. On this occasion, queues was not a problem for me because I ended up having a very late lunch in the city at about 3pm!
As it is a walk in restaurant, you are only likely to get a booking with a minimum of 6 people. It is no surprise that this place is currently a favourite of many diners. The pasta is made fresh everyday and sourced from ethical means.
As expected, a complementary set of breads with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar is delivered to the table. There was a nice variety of breads including sourdough, ciabatta, foccacia, tortano and even the crispy thin carpa di musica. Brought to you fresh from Brasserie Bread (one of my favourite bread suppliers). I am generally not a big fan of balsamic vinegar so I asked the waiter to just put a little bit into the olive oil. The balsamic vinegar was surprisngly not as overpowering and it nicely balanced out the olive oil. The waitress asked if I wanted some more bread and I had to sadly decline the offer because there is so much more to try.
Those who know me will know how very indecisive I can be. This menu is no exception. Too many delicious options to try which will require a number of visits in the near future. When I saw crispy polenta chips on the menu as both a side dish and an antipasti, I knew I must try this NOW! At the time they said that only polenta chips were available because potatoes were out of stock that day which didn't bother me at all. I am a total sucker for polenta chips since trying it at Bloodwood. This was just as good. Delivered in chunky nugget sized pieces, the polenta tasted very delish with more flavour than the standard polenta...and very hot! The parmesan and rosemary were also a nice touch to the dish as I delve into the chips.
In addition to their regular menu, they also have daily specials which aren't helping me with my decisions. At the time of visit, Jamie's Italian did a one off pasta special of artisun salumi ragu with tagliatelle, sage, rosemary, parmesan and pangrattato ($12/17). Seeing this heavenly combination and knowing that I may not see this again is enough for me to choose this dish. And heavenly it really is. The tagliatelle was freshly made with a generous serving of ragu sauce although there were some strands that were sticking together but I didn't mind.
Overall it is easy to understand what the hype was about. Apart from the fact that this restaurant is under Jamie Oliver, the meals were decently priced to give everyone and anyone a chance to eat fresh and high quality food without forking a whole heap of money. The servings can also be pretty generous which satisfies the value for money idea. In addition, the staff were immensely friendly! They frequently asked if I am satisfied with what I am having so far - to which I responded positively each time. I would definitely come back in attempt to try as much from the menu as possible. Not sure if I can handle the lines.
Jamie's Italian Sydney
107 Pitt Street, Sydney 2000
Contact no: 02 8240 9000